Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tomorrow's Another Tax Deadline...Are You Ready?

Tomorrow’s a big day for the IRS and, quite possibly, a big day for you! That’s because March 31, 2016, is the deadline for not one, not two, but three types of 2015 IRS tax forms: 1099s, W-2s, and ACA Forms.

Now, personal income tax filers of these forms - if you happen to have stumbled upon this blog - tomorrow’s not your deadline; that’s not until April 18 (April 19 in Maine and Massachusetts). Tomorrow is the deadline for businesses and other payers to complete their copies of the 1099s and W-2s and e-file them with the IRS. It’s also the deadline to have all ACA Forms 1095-B and 1095-C postmarked and sent to the appropriate recipients.

If you are a business owner and this is all news to you, well sit back and pay attention, because we’ve got a few things to go over:

What’s Due and By When?
  • Form 1099: If you have to file 1099 forms (of any kind) for your payees, these must be e-filed by 11:59 p.m. (your time) on March 31, 2016.
  • Form W-2: If you need to file W-2 forms for your employees, these must be e-filed by 11:59 p.m. (your time), March 31, 2016.
  • ACA Forms: If you have to report health insurance coverage offered to your employees or recipients, the recipient copies must be postmarked and mailed out on March 31, 2016.
Are There Any Penalties for Filing Late?
Is the pope Catholic?

But, in some seriousness, it’s the IRS, so of course there are penalties for filing late. For 1099 and W-2 forms, depending on when you get your corrected forms filed determines your total penalty:
  • $50 per form if you file correctly within 30 days of the due date, with a maximum penalty of $532,000 per year ($186,000 for small businesses)
  • $100 per form if you file correctly after 30 days but before August 1, with a maximum penalty of $1,596,500 per year ($532,000 for small businesses)
  • $260 per form if you file after August 1 or not at all, with a maximum penalty of $3,193,000 per year ($1,064,000 for small businesses)
You may also incur a penalty by filing your forms on paper, even if your forms are in by tomorrow. Since the paper filing deadline was February 29, any paper forms filed now are considered late, so you must e-file by March 31 to have your forms in on time. If you’ve never e-filed before, there’s no need to alert the IRS you’re doing so now.

As for the ACA forms, this year only, the IRS is forgiving any late filing penalties as long as you can prove you made every effort to file on time. Next year, you won’t be so lucky. Also, next year, this deadline will be moved back up to its original date, January 31, and your ACA forms must be e-filed by March 31 (just like the 1099s and W-2s).

What Can I Do to Make Sure I’m Not Late?
If you’re not sure you’ll be able to get your 1099s and W-2s in on time, you can e-file Form 8809 with ExpressIRSForms. Form 8809 is an IRS extension form used for 1099s, W-2s, and various other information returns. If you e-file this, you’ll get an automatic 30 day extension to e-file your forms. And if you end up not using it, you won’t be penalized for having filed one.

As for your ACA forms, just make sure to have them postmarked by tomorrow. If you don’t think you’ll be able to do that, you can have ExpressIRSForms do it! Just make sure you get in your postal mailing order by 5:00 p.m. EDT tomorrow so we can guarantee it’s postmarked on the 31st. Although the IRS won’t know these forms are late unless one of your recipients reports not having gotten theirs, it’s important to get these out sooner rather than later since your recipients need them to complete their tax returns.

What If I Have More Questions?
That’s what our friendly and helpful support team is here for! We’re here until 6:00 p.m. EDT today to answer any phone calls (704-839-2270) and chats coming in, then we’ll come back tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. and stay as late as we need to help you get your filing complete. You can also utilize our 24/7 support email by sending in your question to

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Monday, March 28, 2016

E-file Form 8809 to Extend Your 1099 & W-2 Deadline

In case you hadn’t heard, the deadline to have your 1099 and W-2 Forms e-filed with the IRS is this Thursday, March 31. Now, you do have until 11:59 p.m. your time to get these forms transmitted, which means you’ve got the better part of four days to get everything done. But if that still seems like a pretty daunting task, have we got a form for you!

Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, can be e-filed for an automatic extra 30 days to e-file your 1099 and W-2 forms. Even better: it can be e-filed through ExpressIRSForms! It’s only $2.99 to process, and if you do pull off your filing by Thursday, you won’t be penalized for having filed an extension form. Just think of it as your very own tax-filing safety net. We’ll even show you how to e-file it now:

From your Dashboard, select Start New Form. A pop-up will appear, from which you can select to File an Extension:

On the next page, you’ll enter your payer information, or the information of the person or entity applying for an extension. You can do this by selecting a payer from the drop-down menu, or manually entering your payer information and clicking Next.

On the next screen, you’ll select which forms you need to extend. In this example, I chose to extend the filing due date for my W-2 forms:

Click Next to continue to your Summary screen. From here you can review and delete and extension forms you’ve started. You can also add a new extension form for another payer by selecting the option circled below:

Once you’re satisfied with your extension(s), click Continue to view a summary of your transaction before checking out:

Click Continue, and on the next page, you’ll select a credit card you’ve already entered or enter the details for a new one to pay the processing fee to e-file your extension. Once you’ve made sure your payment is secure, click to continue to the next page.

You’ll see this summary screen before your form is transmitted. Remember: your extension form will not be sent to the IRS until you hit that big, green “Pay and Transmit” button. We’ll then keep you updated on the status of your extension via email. So long as everything goes well - and depending on IRS wait times - you could be approved for 30 extra days to file in less than 30 minutes!

If you have any questions or need help e-filing your Form 8809 extension, feel free to reach out to our support team. We’re always happy to help! You can give us a call (704-839-2270) or send us a live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT. Need after hours help? Send us an email to

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

ExpressIRSForms E-filing Features: Postal Mailing

At ExpressIRSForms, we’re all about the features - the features that make e-filing for users like you easier than ever. Last week, we talked about our Bulk Upload feature, and this week we’ll take you through our Postal Mailing feature, as well as talk a bit about the checkout process with ExpressIRSForms.
What is Postal Mailing?
So you might be wondering what we mean when we say “the postal mailing feature.” You came to an e-filing site, why are we talking about physically mailing your forms? Well, it’s simple: if you select our postal mailing package, not only will we e-file your forms federally and with your state (if applicable), but we’ll also mail the employee/payee copies of your forms to your recipients for you.

For an additional postage fee, you could quite literally be done with your filing as soon as you hit Transmit from your ExpressIRSForms account.

How Do I Get This Awesome Feature?
In order to show you how to utilize our postal mailing feature, we’ll need to back up a couple of steps to your first summary screen:

Before you select the e-filing package you’d like, you’ll see this screen which shows a summary of your order so far. From here, you can view, edit, and delete any forms you’ve completed, broken down by payer. You can also add another form for this payer by selecting the “Add form for this Payer” button, circled above on the far right. Pro tip: to get more bang for your buck, add any other payers and their forms before continuing to check out.

When you’ve got everything in order, click Continue and you’ll see this screen:

In this option, you’ll see that Federal E-file Only is the package that has been selected. As a result, even though I’ve entered state information on my W-2s, they’ll only be federally filed with the IRS and SSA, not with the state (of South Carolina, in this case).

To include postal mailing, you’ll need to select the Package tab, like in this example:

As you can see, my state icons have turned green, as have the plan options on the left side of the screen to reflect my choosing to file federally and with the state, and to have postal mail sent to my recipients. Keep in mind that even if you select this option, your state icons may not turn green; they may become any one of these stoplight colors:

So make sure you pay attention to what the signs say before proceeding. When you do click Continue, you’ll see a brief explanation of the filing requirements for the state for which you’re filing (if applicable):

Some users will be delighted to see they don’t need to do anything else while others will still be required to file additional forms with their state. Once you’ve got your ducks in a row, click Continue to be taken here:

Here we have a summary of the completed e-filing order and details on the package I chose. From here on out, it’s just a matter of paying the piper and transmitting your forms. Once you transmit your forms, your recipient copies will be sent out to your employees/payees by the next business day from our offices here in South Carolina.

If you have any questions about e-filing or the ExpressIRSForms e-filing packages, give us a call at 704-839-2270. We’re available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST. We also offer 24/7 email support at

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Ace Adventures: A Confusing Deadline

Ace, standing tall at his podium, began to address the crowd that started to gather ‘round.

“By the last day of this month,” Ace continued, “you must mail the recipient copies of your 1095-Bs and 1095-Cs to all applicable recipients.

“For my ALEs, that means, uh… That means…” Ace trailed off.

“Well? What does it mean??” A voice from behind Ace questioned.

“And I’ve taken everything you know about the March 31st deadline right out of that thing in your head you call a brain,” Confusion said as she broke into another fit of evil laughter, and Ace fell to his knees in soon-to-be defeat.

“Hey, wait!” called a voice from the crowd. “I know about that! Wasn’t Ace talking about it earlier this year?”

“Oh, yeah,” began another bystander. “The recipient deadline that’s usually going to be when all the other forms are due to payees or employees. You know, like the 1099s and W-2s.”

“Right,” continued the first crowd member, “and if you offer your employees healthcare coverage throughout the year, this is the form you report that to the IRS on!”

“Wait, how did you know that?!” Confusion exclaimed. “My spell should still be clouding your mind!”

“Oh, it’s not your fault, Confusion,” Ace said as he stood up. “I’m sure it’s an excellent spell. But you can’t keep this brain down for very long. No, not with all of my brain exercises.

“But your most fatal mistake was made when you decided to attack me here. For knowledge can be shared more easily than you think, especially when one chooses to speak up.

“Thank you, citizens. I couldn’t have done it without you! As for you, Confusion, be gone. Your spread of ignorance is not welcome here!”

Don’t have time to mail your forms? Select the postal mailing option when you e-file your 1094s and 1095s with ExpressIRSForms and we’ll send them out for you! And if you need help e-filing your ACA forms, give us a call. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST at (704) 839-2270. We also offer 24/7 email support at

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

ExpressIRSForms E-filing Features: Bulk Upload

When you e-file with ExpressIRSForms, you have access to a few bonus features designed to make your 1099, W-2, and ACA filings the easiest they’ve ever been. Of these functions, the Bulk Upload option is great if you’re one of our high volume filers.

We added the Bulk Upload feature, so you don’t have to input information for each recipient or employee if you’ve got a whole bunch of ‘em. Instead, just upload an Excel spreadsheet (or use ours!) of your recipients’ information, then check to make sure everything transferred correctly before transmitting all of your forms. It’s so easy, we’ll break it down for you:

First Things First
Create or log into your account from On your Dashboard, you’ll see an orange button that says Start New Form. Click this. Pro tip: If you’ve filed with us before and have multiple payers, make sure to select the appropriate payer on the left side of the screen before starting your forms.

From the handy dandy pop-up, select which forms you need to file (1099, W-2, or ACA). You’ll then either enter your payer information, or verify the information is correct if you’re filing for a payer already in your account. When you hit Continue, you’ll see this:

Select the Bulk Upload option, and we’re on our way!

Here Comes the Upload
Once you select Bulk Upload, you’ll be asked to choose if you want to upload your own Excel spreadsheet…

Or use ours. Let’s pretend you’re going to use ours:

Step 1 is to download the blank Excel document. Transfer the information needed for your recipients into this document, then make sure to save it. Next, upload your newly saved Excel document by clicking Choose File under Step 3. Press the magical, orange Upload button, and ALAKAZAM! Your information will appear in your account all at once.

Well, okay, it’s not that magical. But for someone who isn’t super knowledgeable about how computers work (like me), it’s pretty darn close.

And Now for the Previews
Next, you’ll need to make sure all of the data is mapped correctly. If you used our Bulk Upload document, you shouldn’t have to do anything. But if you used your own, you may need to move and adjust where each value is supposed to go on the form.

Once everything is in its proper place, you can preview your forms by clicking to the next step:

Use the blue arrows (seen circled in green) to scroll through your forms to make sure all your ducks are in a row, then click Continue to Import. You’ll then see this nifty little screen:

Double check to make sure everything imported correctly. In other words, make sure the first two numbers match (and match the number of forms you need to file) and the last number is zero. From there, click Go to Summary, where you’ll see a summary of your order. Once you’re satisfied with your filing, you can pay and transmit your forms to the IRS. No heavy lifting required.

In this example, I was pretending to e-file 1099 forms, but the Bulk Upload feature works the same for any form you need to file with ExpressIRSForms. The only difference between uploading 1099s, W-2s, or ACA forms is the information required in your spreadsheet.

If you have any questions about the e-filing process or need help with the Bulk Upload feature, don’t hesitate to contact our customer support team. We’re available by phone (704-839-2270) and live chat Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, and by email 24/7 at
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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Today's the Last Day to Extend Your Business Return

Hey, business filers! You’ve got a lot of filing going on right now, what with the 1099 and W-2 e-filing deadline at the end of the month, and, oh yeah, the business tax return deadline that’s today!

If you’ve been a little distracted (and who could blame you?) and need some more time to file your business’s tax return, then now’s the time to act. And by act, I mean head on over to our sister product’s site,, to e-file a Form 7004.

Form 7004 is the business tax extension form, and it must be filed by March 15 (today) each year. Once your form’s been processed by the IRS, you’ll be granted an automatic 5- or 6-month extension to file your tax return. Specific partnerships, trusts, and estates are only eligible for a 5-month extension, but most business will see their due date extend from March 15 to September 15.

Keep in mind that Form 7004 only extends your time to file your return, not pay any taxes owed. You’ll still need to pay any taxes your business owes to the IRS by today. You can contact the IRS directly for information on setting up a payment plan at the IRS’s business tax hotline, 1-800-829-4933.

E-filing Form 7004 with ExpressExtension only takes a few minutes if you have all of your information prepared, and your extension is generally processed and accepted within an hour of filing. To file, you’ll need the name, address, and EIN of your business, which must match what the IRS has on file. Additionally, you’ll need to provide an estimate of how much you owe in taxes. A reason, however, isn’t required to get an extension of time to file.

After your extension has been processed, ExpressExtension will even send you an email letting you know whether your form was accepted or rejected. If you paper file an extension, it’s not the IRS’s policy to notify you whether or not they accepted it: best case scenario, it gets accepted, and everything proceeds as normal. On the other hand, if it gets rejected and you assumed it wouldn’t be, you’re looking at a lot of late filing penalties. So use ExpressExtension. I know we’re a little biased, but wouldn’t you rather be 100% sure of your extension’s acceptance? Plus, if it does get rejected, you can correct and retransmit your form absolutely free!

We’ll be back with your regularly scheduled 1099/W-2/ACA blogs on Wednesday, and if you have any questions in the meantime, just give us a shout! The ExpressIRSForms team is available (and can answer your extension questions as well!) to assist you live Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. EST by phone (704-839-2270) and live chat. We’re also available - although a little less “instant” - 24/7 at

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

E-filing 1099s for Your Independent Contractors

Did you know that by the year 2020, nearly half of America’s workforce (40%) will be made up of independent contractors? And if you look at the ExpressIRSForms numbers, that’s no surprise: a majority of the forms we process and transmit to the IRS are 1099s (the independent contractor version of a W-2 form). But whether someone is considered an independent contractor or an employee in the eyes of the IRS isn’t always as black and white as it may sound. So sit back and take a listen to what makes your contractors so independent that you have to file a Form 1099.

Independent Contractors: What are They?
There are three categories the IRS looks at when considering whether or not the person you’re filing for is an independent contractor:
  • Behavioral: Do you control how, when, and where this person works?
  • Financial: Do you provide necessary tools, reimburse expenses, or pay a salary to this worker?
  • Relationship: Is this worker essential to daily operations of your business?
If your answers are mostly “yes” to these questions for a certain worker, the IRS considers that worker to be an employee, not an independent contractor. Typically, you’ll establish the status of your worker when you hire him/her, but these questions are good to keep in mind during filing time.

Still Not 1099% Sure?
If you need further classification on the differences between independent contractors and employees, you may need to consult with a tax or legal professional. The IRS also offers Form SS-8, which you can send to the IRS and, within six months, they’ll return it with the classification of your worker(s).

Misclassifying Workers
It’s important to make sure you know the status of your worker before you file anything for him/her, because the IRS isn’t too lenient when it comes to misclassifications. If you classify an independent contractor as an employee (or vice versa), you become liable for any:
  • unpaid Federal, State, and Local Income Tax,
  • Social Security & Medicare contributions,
  • unpaid Workers’ Compensation, and
  • Unemployment Insurance Premiums.
Additionally, beginning with the 2015 tax year, anyone with 50 or more employees who misclassified those employees will be assessed an additional penalty of $2,000 per employee.

E-filing Form 1099
So you’ve determined your workers are independent contractors, and you need to file a Form 1099-MISC (the miscellaneous revenue 1099 form) to report their wages. Now, all you need to do is e-file them with ExpressIRSForms, the most user-friendly IRS-authorized e-filing program around! Just log into your free account, select the big, orange Start New Form button, and the program takes you through the steps of quickly and easily transmitting your 1099 forms directly to the IRS.

If you realize you filed a W-2 when you should have filed a 1099, then it’s time to act. If it hasn't been long since you hit the Transmit button, click the Correction button next to the incorrect form, and our program will be able to recall your form, which will then show as Unsubmitted on your Dashboard. You can then delete that form and file the correct 1099. If your form was already submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you’ll need to contact the W-2 hotline for cancelations, 1-800-772-6270, and they can direct you on how to proceed.

If you filed a 1099 when you should have filed a W-2, you can try to recall your form like in the example above. If your form has already been sent to the IRS, you can e-file a 1099 correction to void the 1099 before e-filing the correct W-2 form.

The Customer Support Spiel
If you have any questions about e-filing, or employee/independent contractor classifications, you can get in touch with our friendly, US-based customer support team. We’re available by phone (704-839-2270) and live chat ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST. You can also send us an email anytime at

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ace Adventures: The Countdown Begins

Welcome, reader, to another exciting installment of The Adventures of Ace, the World’s First E-filing Superhero!

Ace has gathered the citizens of ExpressIRSForms in Town Square for a very special announcement. Towering behind him is a new clock, which seems to be counting down to March 31st.

“By the end of this month,” Ace continues, “you’ll need to have sent out your 1095-B or 1095-C forms to your recipients and/or employees to be compliant with the ACA and IRS’s extended deadline for these forms.”

“What do you mean by an extended deadline?” yells a member of the crowd.

“Since this is the first year the ACA forms are required to be filed, the IRS decided to give filers a little extra time to learn how to file their ACA forms. They extended the recipient deadline for the 2015 tax year - which is what we file in this, the year of 2016 - from January 31 to March 31. Similarly, they changed the paper filing deadline for the IRS copies from February 28/29 to May 31 and the e-filing deadline for IRS copies from March 31 to June 30.”

“Wait, so I have to file more than one copy of these forms?” questions another citizen.

Ace, sensing he was losing them, decided to try a comparison technique in his explanation.

“Just like how when you run a business and pay employees or contractors, you have to report to the IRS and your employee/contractor on a 1099 or W-2, you now have to do the same thing for anyone you provide health insurance to. Or anyone you offer to provide health insurance to. So like your 1099 or W-2, the 1095-B or 1095-C forms you file with the IRS will be a copy of the same form you send to your recipients.”

“Yeah, I was wondering,” began another crowd member, “I’ve got a lot of recipients. Is there some, like, program or something that’ll help me mail them out? Or mail them out for me?”

“You betcha!” Ace replies. “In fact, I was just about to tell you about them! You see, if you file with my sidekicks over at, you can e-file your ACA forms with the IRS and also have them send your recipient forms for you, saving you a lot of time as well as a trip to the post office. Plus, you don’t have to worry about any of those other deadlines because your forms have already been filed by the IRS. You could be done filing a full three months early!”

“And speaking of time,” Ace continues, “I’m running out of it. It’s back to protecting the city from mayhem for me, back to filing those ACA forms for you citizens!”

You can get in touch with one of Ace’s sidekicks by phone (704-839-2270) or live chat ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. We’re also available 24/7 at

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Miss the Paper Filing Deadline?

As many of our regular readers should know (we’ve only been posting about it all month), the paper filing deadline form 1099 and W-2 forms was this past Monday, February 29. For e-filers, it was just another Monday. But for scrambling, procrastinating paper filers, it was a Monday for the books.

Unfortunately, when it comes to leaving tasks until the last minute, other things tend to get in the way. And a lot of the time, only the very best of task-jugglers can pull off multiple last minute to-dos right before their deadlines. So what to do if you missed the paper filing deadline this past Monday?

First of all, don’t fret. If you’re not opposed to e-filing, just think of this as missing the practice test (that doesn’t count towards your grade) before the real exam. Sure, it might have helped to have gotten it done, but you’ve still got another chance to provide the information you have to the IRS.

If you decide to e-file instead of sending in your paper forms late, you don’t have to notify the IRS. All you have to do is e-file your forms by March 31, 2016. See? There're an extra 29 days to file without having to do anything at all! And you were going to start fretting.

BUT - and this is an MC Hammer sized “but” - if you’re staunchly against e-filing, you’ll need to complete and send in your paper forms AS SOON AS POSSIBLE because the IRS penalties have already begun.

You see, the IRS fines you for late forms based on when the forms are eventually, correctly, filed. If you get your forms filed within the first 30 days after your deadline (so, by March 29), you’ll only owe $50 per form. If you miss the 30-day deadline but file before August, your penalty goes up to $100 per form. And if you don’t file until after August 1 (or not at all), the IRS can charge you up to $260 per form. The maximum amount you can be fined by the IRS for late filing is $3,193,000 per year ($1,064,000 for small businesses).

Other than e-filing or paper filing as soon as possible, there’s not much else you can do to fix the fact that you’re filing late. There is, however, a small loophole in this whole late-filing-penalty-incurring process. Straight from the horse’s mouth (a.k.a. the IRS website):

“The penalty will not apply to any failure that you can show was due to reasonable cause and not to willful must be able to show that your failure was due to an event beyond your control...You also must be able to show that you acted in a responsible manner and took steps to avoid the failure.”

In other words, get that excuse ready - and try to be a little more creative than just blaming the dog - because it could be the difference between paying $50 to $260 per form and paying $0 per form.

If you need help getting started e-filing, or have any questions about the tax filing deadlines, feel free to get in touch with ExpressIRSForms’s customer support team in Rock Hill, South Carolina. We offer support by phone, chat, and email, in English or Spanish, and we’re always happy to help!

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